Day 2: Urban Prep teachers strike continues

Chicago News

CHICAGO   Teachers for the three campuses of Urban Prep Academies continued their strike on Tuesday, citing a fight for parity with Chicago Public Schools.

More than 30 teachers went on strike Monday, one week before summer break. The move potentially affects about 650 students.

Teachers, striking for the second consecutive day, hit the picket lines at the school’s three campuses:

  • Bronzeville Campus: 521 E. 35th St.
  • Englewood Campus: 6201 S. Stewart Ave.
  • West Campus: Roosevelt University 425 S. Wabash Ave.

Teachers on Monday said they demand better, health benefits and special education resources. The union says they are at the bottom of the pay scale among unionized city schools, with a starting salary that’s $11,000 less than their CPS counterparts.

The Chicago Tribune reports that CTU claims Urban Prep’s management refuses to enshrine students’ special education rights in enforceable contract language. 

“We need to have fair treatment for special education students, We need to have a fair economic package and we need to have some guarantees from Urban Prep that they are not going to push teachers out of the rotating door…and we need to have a short-term contract,” said CTU President Jesse Sharkey at a Tuesday press conference.

The union also says management insists on an extended period to fire educators. 

In a statement issued Monday, Urban Prep said, in part: “A one-year contract would mean that the negotiation process will start again in a matter of months. That is not in the best interest of teachers or the students for whom we all are working.”

On Tuesday, Urban Prep did not comment on the talks.

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